Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Hamster or human?

Busting the Fat-Burning Zone Myth

Q. I have heard that if you go over a certain heart rate while doing aerobic exercises, you do not burn fat. Is this true?

A. This is one of those misconceptions that should be put to rest once and for all. The "fat-burning zone" idea got its start about 15 years ago, when scientists reported that during high-intensity exercise, the body burned mostly stored carbohydrates for fuel, as opposed to burning stored fat as it did during lower-intensity activity.
Exercise instructors took the news and ran, leading the charge for low-intensity "fat-burning" classes. We probably don't have to tell you that they didn't end up being a magic bullet for fat loss. Here's why.
It's true that the body burns a higher percentage of calories from fat during more mellow exercise like walking and easy cycling. But, when you pick up the pace for a higher-intensity cardio workout, you burn a greater number of overall calories(which should be your focus for weight loss) and subsequently just as much total fat.

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